Chimney Sweep

Julie Andrews remembers ‘daunting’ first assembly with Dick Van Dyke

Julie Andrews has revealed how she felt when she met her Mary Poppins co-star Dick Van Dyke for the first time.

Andrews, 88, starred opposite Van Dyke, 98, in the classic 1964 movie musical. She opened up about the memory during the two-hour CBS special “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic,” which aired Thursday (Dec. 21).

“If I remember correctly, it was very hot in early September and the Disney team had built a large stage out in the back of the studio and created a shade roof out of a huge tarp,” the Sound of Music actor explained. “When I arrived on the first day, Dick was already working with the choreographers and dancers.”

She continued: “I had never done a film before, and I had given birth to my beautiful daughter Emma almost six weeks earlier, and I quickly realized that I had better pull up my socks and get in shape.” I found It's pretty daunting, I can tell you that.

Andrews remembered Van Dyke as “young, as fit as can be and truly stunning to look at,” adding that the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor “couldn't have been kinder, genuinely sweeter and more helpful.” I like to think so “We hit it off straight away.”

“It was so nice to see him imitating the animated penguins or trying to ride the pony on the carousel. Become a magical chimney sweep. Actually, I think it was a very enjoyable film for the entire company,” she said.

“Mary Poppins” star Dick Van Dyke (Getty Images)

“Mary Poppins” star Dick Van Dyke (Getty Images)

Andrews' first film role as the eponymous Mary Poppins, a magical nanny who brings fun and imagination into the lives of the two Banks children, earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. The next year she received an award for her starring role in 1965's The Sound of Music, followed by a third nomination in 1982 for the comedy musical Victor/Victoria.

Van Dyke, who played Bert in the original, returned for the 2018 sequel Mary Poppins Returns to play Mr. Dawes Jr., the son of Van Dyke, the greedy director of London's most important financial center also starred in the 1964 classic.

In early February, the Bye Bye Birdie actor revealed his secret to staying so young. “Having a beautiful young woman half my age taking care of me—that works!” Van Dyke told Yahoo!.

He credited his wife, 52-year-old makeup artist Arlene Silver, with helping him maintain a “positive attitude” and go to the gym “three days a week” to work out.

“I encourage everyone to do that because that’s how people age,” he said. “It's just a matter of stiffening up and not exercising the muscles and lungs. Practice is the answer.”

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